W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > August 2008

Re: ISSUE-54 (html5-doctype-vs-xslt): XSLT 1.0 can not generate HTML5 documents [HTML 5 spec]

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 09:24:18 +0300
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <9790E34D-6B0C-45D7-934C-DC8348C5AF6A@iki.fi>
To: Jirka Kosek <jirka@kosek.cz>

On Aug 28, 2008, at 17:38, Jirka Kosek wrote:

> Henri Sivonen wrote:
>
>> If we allow a placeholder public id, cargo cultists will think that  
>> the
>> more complicated syntax is somehow better because HTML 4 had similar
>> cruft and cruft exists for a *reason*, will make up a rationalization
>> for it that doesn't even mention XSLT (something like "it helps  
>> browsers
>> better understand semantics") and will start evangelizing the more
>> crufty syntax to other people who will end up wasting their time  
>> looking
>> up a public id that is useless if they aren't using XSLT. Time is the
>> most valuable resource people have, so inflicting time-wasting  
>> cruft on
>> Web authors isn't nice.
>
> Should be HTML5 specification based on speculations like above or on
> deep analysis?

What would be a "deep" analysis?

Based on observing what has gotten written about doctypes during the  
past 8 years, I stand by the speculation that if the spec allowed both  
<!DOCTYPE html> and <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 5//EN">,  
pundits would start finding bogus (non-XSLT-related) rationalizations  
for the latter, because when a W3C WG puts out something that *looks*  
profound and complex, pundits don't call the emperor naked but try to  
appear knowledgeable by inventing a purpose for the complexity.

Besides, the suggested string is pointlessly crufty:
  1) It says DTD, but there's no DTD. It doesn't really refer to any  
real piece of public text.
  2) The "//EN" bit demonstratably confuses people.
  3) It would bring versioning ("5") into the spec through the back  
door.
  4) There are a lot of useless slashes.

Now, considering what I said about wasting people's time being bad,  
it's bad to waste XSLT programmers' time too. I'd be OK with syntax  
that solves the problem of wasting their time in a way that is  
unlikely to spill outside the XSLT space and waste other people's time  
(by pundits telling them not to write simply <!DOCTYPE html>).

I'd be OK with <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "XSLT-compat">, since it reflects  
the problem it is solving--making the string resistant to bogus  
rationalizations about its purpose.

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivonen@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Received on Friday, 29 August 2008 06:25:04 UTC

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